Saturday, Oct. 10
4:00 PM God’s Blessings and Good Health for all Parishioners
Sunday, October 11 SUNDAY OF THE FATHERS OF THE 7TH ECUMENICAL COUNCIL
8:30AM God’s Blessings and Good Health for all Parishioners
Thursday, Oct. 15
9:00 AM General Intention – Father Popyk Family
Saturday, Oct. 17
4:00 PM Deceased Sisters of Ann Beshada
Sunday, Oct. 18 TWENTY THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
8:30 AM God’s Blessings and Good Health for all Parishioners
CLERGY CONFERENCE: Father Popyk will be attending the Fall Clergy Conference in Chicago from Tuesday October 20th to 23rd. No Liturgy during this week. Regular schedule for Saturday October 24th.
About the Ukrainian Catholic Church
It is in full communion with the Holy See, the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church in Vatican City. It is the largest Eastern Catholic church in communion with the Roman Catholic Church, with more than 5 million members worldwide.
It has its own hierarchy (bishops, cardinal) that are subject to the leadership of the pope of the Roman Catholic Church.
During the Great Schism of 1054, Pope Leo XI of Rome and Patriarch Michael of Constantinople excommunicated each other. The Ukrainian Church became separated from the Holy See. However, the Union of Brest in 1596 brought Ukrainian Catholics back in full union with Roman Catholics. The Ukrainian Church was allowed to keep its customs and was given full autonomy within the Eastern rite.
This article was in the Citizen’s Voice this past week: If you did not see the article – this is for you to read. It is very interesting how our Churches are all in the same situation.
At 8 a.m. every Sunday, Mickey Kmietowicz of Glen Lyon unlocks the doors to St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church, nestled at the base of a mountain at the entrance of the Glen Lyon section of Newport Township.
Parishioners begin to trickle in and soon the pastor, the Rev. John Seniw, arrives following a drive from Berwick where he also serves as pastor of SS. Cyril and Methodius Ukrainian Catholic Church.
By 8:30, Kmietowicz has lighted the candles and some 45 parishioners celebrate the Divine Liturgy. A choir of four people sings a cappella. As per Ukrainian tradition, there is no organ.
Within minutes of the service ending, the collection is tallied in the church hall. The pastor meets briefly with a few parishioners. By 10, the church is closed and it will remain closed until the following Sunday, barring a church event or a funeral.
This is life in a small Eastern rite parish. These churches remain viable and even vibrant with diminished numbers because the faithful refuse to quit.
“The church has been our whole life. As we grew up, it was all based on that,” Kmietowicz said.
The Rev. Seniw lauded the deep devotion of his parishioners in Glen Lyon and Berwick. He said the depth of the faith exists despite the aging population.
There is another pivotal reason that the Ukrainian parishes survive: They have pastors and a plentiful supply of replacements ready to come to the United States from Ukraine as necessary.
“There are many vocations in Ukraine,” the priest said, despite the turmoil there as Russia seeks to take control of more of the country. “The archbishop (of the Ukrainian Metropolitan Archdiocese of Philadelphia) brings priests here from Ukraine. He actually has to turn guys down.”
The priest is a native of Erie. After attending two seminaries, he was ordained in 1982 in Philadelphia by then Metropolitan Stephen Sulyk. The Rev. Seniw served in parishes in Ohio and New Jersey and became pastor of the two local churches 11 years ago. He maintains his residence in Berwick.
The Rev. Seniw is dean of the North Anthracite Deanery of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia. Ukrainian churches in Nanticoke, Plymouth, Edwardsville, Wilkes-Barre and other regional communities belong to the deanery and they too share pastors. The Rev. Volodomyr Popyk is pastor of the Ukrainian churches in Nanticoke and Plymouth and is a native of the Ukraine.Continued: Ironically, St. Nicholas in Glen Lyon shared pastors for much of its early history. The parish was founded in 1894 and shared pastors with other parishes until 1948 when the Rev. Bohdan Olesh was named first resident pastor. He was at St. Nicholas when he died in December 1998.
When the parish celebrated its 60th anniversary in 1954, there were “276 souls” in the parish, a commemorative booklet notes. Today, there are 63 families registered, but a widow or widower living alone counts as a family, the Rev. Seniw said, so the actual number of parishioners is small. He did not have the figure.
Some things are downsized, such as the Liturgy schedule. A monthly bulletin replaces the usual weekly bulletin, but events are vigorously pursued to help maintain the parish.
A hoagie sale was held early in September and more than 500 hoagies were sold at $5 each. Soup and halushki sales are held each Lent and Advent season.
“The heating bill is our largest expense,” Kmietowicz said. The food sales also pay other utility bills.
Palmira Miller, a parishioner and one of four sisters who attend St. Nicholas, said parishioners do the cleaning. “We all chip in,” she said. Men also work around the church and grounds.
Holidays mean sharing the pastor also, so Easter morning service is at 6:30 in Glen Lyon. The priest then heads to Berwick for a 9 a.m. Liturgy.
Karen Phair of Nanticoke, choir director, recalled the days when 30-plus voices sang in the Glen Lyon church. The four current members learned the chants as youngsters, she said, as did their predecessors.
The original church burned down in 1936 and the existing church was built on the same site. The parish also has a cemetery in Newport Township and parishioners handle the caretaking there also.
There were a few young families present for a recent 8:30 service. Asked how long the church could remain open, the Rev. Seniw said no one can predict, but when viability ends consolidations will occur as necessary.
For now, St. Nicholas and its sister churches meet the challenges day by day, their members praying to maintain traditions and their parishes.
SANCTUARY LIGHT: The Sanctuary Light is requested to burn this week Oct. 10 – 17 by the Dempsey Children in memory of their mother Anna Dempsey.
ALTAR CANDLES: The Altar Candles will burn during the month of October for Good Health for sister-in-law Virginia requested by Arlene Jones.
THE EKUMEN CHORALE: Experience the magnificent a cappella musical works performed by the Ekumen Chorale directed by Patrick Marcinko II on Sunday, November 1, 2015 at 3:00 PM at SS Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church of Plymouth, PA. We hope to see you.
RUMMAGE SALE: You can still shop the Rummage sale, this Sunday from 1:00 to 3:00 PM. Come see and maybe you will find your treasure. Good bargains.
DIVINE LITURGIES: Your requests for Divine Liturgies are important. If you have a loved one who needs prayers or a deceased member of your family or friends, a Divine Liturgy is one of the best sources of prayer for them. In sickness, health or death we all need prayers. If you have a request; envelopes are available in the vestibule or call Father Popyk at 570-735-2262.
LOTTERY TICKETS: The November Lottery tickets are available for your chance to win. If at all possible you could take a few tickets to sell to your family and friends it will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your support in the past. Good luck in the future.